US needs to speak to Aristide - SA

2011-03-15 17:23
Cape Town - South Africa would not press exiled former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to delay his return to his home country, and Washington should take the matter up with Haiti directly, Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman said on Tuesday.

"It is not our responsibility if America feels that he should only go in two weeks, in three weeks or four weeks, they need to engage the Haitian government on that matter.

"Obviously we can't dictate to people when they should leave South Africa or not leave South Africa," Fransman told a media briefing in Cape Town.

He said South Africa's role in Aristide's return was confined to a "supportive one" and the matter was mainly handled by the Haitian embassy in Pretoria.

The US state department has called on Aristide not to return Haiti before run-off presidential elections on Sunday, for fear his presence could influence that process.

Fransman said there would be a press conference in coming days to cast light on Aristide's plans.
Read more on:    international relations  |  marius fransman  |  jean-bertrand aristide  |  us  |  haiti  |  sa  |  haiti elections

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